TOURISM is the one beacon of hope in the ailing Spanish economy; so says Industry, Energy and Tourism Minister Jose Manuel Soria.
He says overseas arrivals last year increased by 8.1 per cent; their spending by a similar amount.
Despite this there will be no financial incentives to improve further this cash cow. A decrease in VAT for tourist related services was ‘ruled out of order.’
A politician will of course defend the indefensible and cover up cracks. It is their one skill.
Let us be honest about it; with the near total collapse of their Egyptian and multi-nation North African rivals the figure of 8.1 per cent, if not massaged, is still far short of what it should and could be.
There is an air of complacency in Spain. Sadly much of the blame is shared by the non-Spanish commercial sector.
IT seems strange in a way; Ryanair the budget airline complaining of sharp practice.
The Irish owned airline dismisses the funds it receives from the Catalan government. It does however slam subsidies it claims are going to Barcelona-based Spanair.
Ryanair’s Deputy Chief Executive Michael Rawley says the Catalan government has habitually broken European Union rules by providing its less successful rival with funding.
Very much in the style of ‘the boss’ Rawley describes Spainair as ‘inefficient, high-cost and polluting, and which should anyway be in receivership.’